College football attendance was slightly down in 2012 from the year before, but still the third highest total ever, according to the NCAA. ESPN.com reported the NCAA's figures on Monday. In 2012, 48.9 million tickets to FBS and FCS games were sold, down from the all-time record of 49.6 million people attending games in 2011. The average attendance at college football games was 44,970, or 528 less than in 2011. Michigan averaged a national and school-high of 112,252 attending games last season. Ohio State (105,330), Alabama (101,723) and Texas (100,884) were the only other schools that drew an average attendance of more than 100,000. Cal led all FBS schools with the highest attendance increase percentage, drawing almost 18,000 more fans than it did the year prior, thanks to a newly renovated stadium. That represented a 48.4 percent hike. On the other hand, Tennessee experienced the biggest decline in attendance. Though the Volunteers averaged 89,965 fans per game, it was a 4.9 percent decrease from 2011. Even though Penn State finished 8-4, its attendance dropped a fifth consecutive year to 96,730 -- a 4.63 percent decline over the previous season. The SEC had the highest average attendance with 75,538 per game. The Big Ten (70,040), Big 12 (59,004) and Pac-12 (53,679) followed. Bowl game attendance was down by an average of 1,211 fans per game from the previous year.
- Sports & Recreation